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Published on July 9th, 2013 | by Francesca Abernathy

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Real Mom Talk: Celebrate Summer

sqapple1Summer: the word evokes memories of long hot days filled with sprinklers, bike rides, day camp, and ice cream cones. And although the season may be reduced to mere nostalgia for us grown-ups, that doesn’t mean it has to lose its magic for the kiddos! Beat boredom with some of the activities below, before the lazy days of summer pass by!

Take advantage of what your community has to offer. Many smaller municipalities offer summer concerts, movies in the park, kid’s fishing derbies, and other family-friendly events for the community. Check your town’s website or newspaper for a calendar of events. And don’t forget about local fairs or carnivals!

Check your public library. The library is a great resource for kids! They may offer free workshops on science, math, and writing for older children. For younger kids, they may have story-time, puppet shows, craft activities, and more.

Keep it simple by going back to nature. Think backyard camping, bug-hunting, mud-fights, dancing in the rain, etc. Encourage your child to snap photos or draw pictures of the different plants, bugs, and other wildlife that they may discover in the backyard or during a long walk. Set up a network of sprinklers in the backyard for the kids to run through, or fill a 5-gallon bucket full of water balloons for an afternoon of fun.

Prevent brain-drain. Purchase inexpensive educational work-books to allow your child to practice math, spelling, and penmanship. This will help keep their academic skills strong until August rolls around. Purchase blank storybooks for just a few dollars apiece on Amazon.com (or make your own) and allow your child to write and illustrate their very own story. Ask your child what they are interested in learning about, whether it’s counting money, researching her favorite artist or author, or learning to tie his shoes—then help them with it! Do you have a child who asks questions incessantly about a subject you’re not familiar with? Google his questions or watch a video about it on YouTube. You never know where the conversation will lead to next!

Get out of the house. Home Depot offers a free kids workshop on the first Saturday of each month. If you live near a Bass Pro Shops, take advantage of the wide variety of free crafts, family activities, and workshops that they offer during the summer months. Regal Theatres’ Summer Movie Express features one kid-friendly show every Tuesday and Wednesday morning for $1 admission, and Wehrenberg Theatres’ Family Summer Series offers free movies and discounted concessions every Wednesday and Thursday morning. Take a walk to your neighborhood sno-cone stand or ice-cream shop. Go to your local produce stand or farmers market and let your child pick out an item that they’ve never eaten before. (Be sure to cook or prepare it for them if necessary!) Contact your local police department or fire station to schedule a tour. Make it a goal to visit one new park or playground every week or month. Splash pads are also gaining in popularity and are a fun, low-key alternative to your neighborhood pool.

Volunteer. Get involved in a cause that is close to your child’s heart! This is especially fitting for older children who can more easily grasp the concept of helping others in a tangible way. Contact your local animal shelter, children’s home, or food pantry to see how your child can help!

The possibilities for new and exciting summer adventures are endless! In what ways will you and your family celebrate summer? Share your ideas by leaving a comment!

 

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About the Author

Francesca Abernathy is a mother of three children and loves to cook, bake, and jog. She works outside of the home but dreams of the day she can sit on her couch, watch Dr. Oz, and eat Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups from 8:00-5:00. She lives with her saint of a husband in St. Louis, Mo.



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